Monday, October 31, 2011


Everyone enjoys nibbling on a variety of Christmas cookies so hosting a Christmas cookie exchange would be a fabulous way to get all the ladies together around the holidays.

Choose a date, place and time to hold the exchange.  This type of get together is best when hosted in either yours or one of the other ladies homes.  Since the home would already be decorated for the holidays there is no need to decorate and besides it generates an atmosphere of Christmas spirit and hospitality. 

Hand out invitations at least a week in advance to give each lady time to purchase the ingredients she needs and to have time to do her baking.

On the invitation, ask each lady to bring 3 dozen of her favorite Christmas cookie.  Specify that the cookies must be homemade.  No store bought snacks for this event!!  However, some Christmas treats use store bought cookies as a base or as part of the ingredients and that is fine.

Suggestion:  You can also ask each lady to bring enough copies of her recipe to share with the other ladies, but that is optional. 

You will want to make sure you have plenty of coffee, milk and hot cocoa on hand for the occasion.  There will be a lot of sampling going on.

Provide each lady with a small gift box or cookie tin to take a sample or two of each cookie home, providing there is any left, lol.

Hint:  No matter where this gathering is hosted, for added fun and festivity, create a Christmasy atmosphere by playing Christmas music in the background.   Play a game or two, i.e. pin the nose on Rudolf.  Go caroling or have Christmas Carol karaoke.

If there are plenty of cookies and you are feeling generous, make up several goodie bags with a variety of cookies in each.  Then hop in the car and distribute the goody bags to the older folks in your church and neighborhood who are home bound for the winter and who might be in need of a little Christmas cheer.  You might also do a little caroling for them.


Whatever you decide to do, have a great time.  Enjoy the wonderful holiday season and


Friday, October 28, 2011


What lady doesn't love beautiful Christmas ornaments?  If you're like me, you want a few new ornaments each year to adorn your tree or perhaps you use them to embellish Christmas packages too.  There are MANY uses for ornaments.  My favorite are homemade ornaments.  Anyone can have store bought ones but the beautiful ornaments made by hand are the best. 

This year why not get your ladies together to make some beautiful hand made ornaments. 

Choose a date, place and time for your get together.

If you would like, as the hostess, you can provide a variety of plain ball ornaments in various sizes and some embellishments to use, or ask each lady to bring ornaments and things like ribbon, glitter and Christmas cards with beautiful Christmas scenes, paints, scrapbook paper, songbook paper, and anything else that can be used in making and embellishing ornaments.

Put all the ornaments and supplies together in one location and then share.  This way each lady has a variety of ornaments and embellishments to choose from. 

You can embellish plain ol' store bought Christmas ball ornaments anyway you like.  You can add things like lace and beads or just about any other embellishment you like.

You can also make ornaments.  The following are recipes for salt dough ornaments and cinnamon Applesauce dough.  To make ornaments from these doughs, simply make the dough and use Christmas cookie cutters to cut shapes in the dough.  Use a wooden skewer to put a hole in the top for your string or hanger.  (Note:  These must be made ahead of time, so they have several days to dry before embellishing them).

Salt Dough recipe
Cinnamon Applesauce dough

Ornaments can be painted, decoupaged or wrapped.  The possibilities are endless, just use your imagination.

Ornaments can be made from virtually anything.  Natural items like pine cones, nuts and acorns.  Paper, jar lids, puzzle pieces, games pieces, the list goes on and one. Use your imagination.

Once everyone's ornaments are all made and looking so beautiful, you can choose to either let each lady take her own home or exchange them.

Playing a chinese gift exchange game would be fun.  Place all the homemade ornaments on a table and put each ladies name into a hat.  One by one draw the ladies names from the hat.

The first lady gets to choose the ornament she wants from the table.  The second lady gets to choose one from the table or steal the first ladies and the third lady likewise can choose an ornament from the table or steal from one of the other ladies, and so on.  The more "stealing", the more fun the game is.

Provide some cookies and cocoa for a snack and have a wonderful time.

Happy ornament making and MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Everyone loves receiving a gift basket for Christmas from someone who has put much thought, love and effort into making it especially for them.  With that in mind, wouldn't it be fun to get together with your group of church ladies and have a Christmas Basket-Make & Take.  The holidays are a great time of year to get together and fellowship and with a Make & Take, your time is well spent.

Choose a date, place and time to get the ladies together for a Christmas Basket-Make & Take.


Have each lady bring something as their basket (this can be anything, a wooden basket, a kitchen calender, large soup bowl, decorative Christmas sleigh, etc.)  Even the pouch of a Christmas oven mitt turned upside down makes a great "basket".  The term "basket" simply means the container they will be putting all their goodies into.

Also each lady will need to bring items to put into their baskets.  Things like Christmas candies and cookies are always great.  Also Christmas mugs and hot cocoa are great items to add to a basket.  Anything Christmasy works.  Pot holders, kitchen towels, decorative items, ornaments.  Have the ladies bring a variety of items. 

If you wish, you can designate a specific item for them to bring on their invitations, i.e.,  have one lady bring Christmas cookies, and another bring a large bag of Christmas candy, have another bring a few boxes of cocoa and another bring candy canes, or ornaments, etc.

You will need things like basket filler, cellophane bags in different sizes and assorted ribbon on hand to finish the baskets. 

Small Gift basket ideas might include:

--A Christmas mug filled with cocoa and cookies, wrapped in a small cellophane bag and tied with ribbon.  You can attach a spoon with the ribbon for added charm.

--A Christmas soup bowl filled with a can of Campbell's chicken noodle soup and individual packs of crackers and a few after dinner mints, wrapped in a small cellophane bag and tied with a ribbon.  A spoon could also be added to this one.

--A Christmas themed oven mitt,  turn the mit upside down and add a package of Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix, pouch of decorator's icing and attach a wooden spoon to the mitt's loop.  No wrapping needed.

A mixing bowl also works well as a basket.  Add a cake mix, mixing spoons and tub of icing or other various baking ingredients (dry goods only).  Wrap in a large cellophane bag and top with a ribbon.  You can tie a wooden spoon or a wire wisk on with the ribbon for a little extra cuteness.

Your baskets can be any size and have any kind of treat you want to add and embellished anyway you like. 

If you wish, have each lady bring a small treat for everyone to snack on at your meeting.  Basket making will make you HUNGRY. 

Suggestion:  Once everyone has their baskets made, they can either take their basket home and give as a gift to whomever they like, or for a gift exchange game, have the ladies stand in a circle holding the basket she made.  Read a Christmas poem (story) aloud to them, when you say the words left or right, have them pass their baskets either left or right.  When the story is finished, each lady receives the basket she is holding.

Suggestion:  If you wish (provided all ladies are in agreement) you could donate all the gift baskets to a local charity for disbursement to under privileged families in your area, or if your church hands out gifts to each family at Christmas, donate the baskets to your church.

Suggestion:  Have each lady invite a friend to your meeting, any of your meetings, because the more you include lost friends and loved ones into your group for fun times, the more they will get to know all of you and the more they will want to attend church. 

Have fun, and above all have a


Thursday, October 27, 2011


Tablescaping is the biggest trend in home entertaining today.  As Christian ladies, entertaining is a big part of our lives, or at least it should be.

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;... distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Romans 12:10-13

All of us have had opportunities to have guests over for dinner but, oftentimes we don't entertain or have home fellowship, even though we would like to, because our entertaining skills leave us feeling like failures in that area.  Let's face it, the days of proper etiquette, formal table setting and June Cleaver are gone, so many ladies just don't know how to be the "hostess with the mostest"; however, this particular ladies meeting class and contest can cure them of that problem.

Choose a date and time to get the ladies together for a tablescape class and contest.  This meeting should be held in the fellowship hall at your church where there are plenty of tables to use for demonstration and contest.

Note:  If you yourself are not familiar with tablescaping, google the words "tablescapes, tablescaping" to learn more about it and to see sample photos.  I also give links and information farther down in this post, so keep reading!

Ask each lady to bring her everyday dishes and perhaps "special dishes", glasses and silverware to this meeting.  Also, have her bring any tableclothes, table runners, napkins and napkin rings she might have, and to bring things like candles, florals, greenery, hurricane vases and other things that can be used for centerpieces. 

For the meeting, have your own items ready to demonstrate a tablescape or two.  Explain as you go what tablescaping is and "how" to do it. 

Then, group the ladies together in groups of two or three and assign each group a table (if your group is small, give each lady her own table).  Using the skills you just taught them and the items they brought from home, have them "set" their table.  They can mix, match and share dishes, centerpieces, etc.  Once everyone is finished, the judging begins.  You are the judge (you can choose someone else to help if you wish).  You can set up different categories for the tables to be judged on, i.e., most creative, proper setting, most elegant, most rustic, best color scheme, etc.

Choose 1st place, 2nd place and 3rd place winning tables, or perhaps (since you are the judge) each table can win a prize. Your choice.  Give each lady at the winning tables a prize.  Prizes can be anything even just a "blue" or "red" ribbon.  You can buy ribbons at party supply stores, or make your own and the cost is minimal.

The most important thing is to have fun, learn something and make everyone feel like a winner!!!


Perhaps you are familiar with tablescaping, if so, you are ready to go, but if not, tablescaping is just a fancy word to say "setting a nice table".  The definition of tablescape is..."an arrangement of items gathered into a grouping and placed on top of the table"  Now I know you might be thinking, how boring, but I can assure you that you will have the most fun you've had in a long time.  Tablescaping is a way to allow your creative juices to flow and it doesn't have to cost anything. 

If you are completely unfamiliar with tablescaping, just google the words "tablescape or tablescaping" to learn more and see photographs of many home and party tablescapes.  (Click on the links below to see tablescapes from some of the most creative bloggers and tablescapers in the business).

The greatest thing about tablescaping is that the sky is the limit.  Any type of dishes, glasses and eating utensils will work (even paper or plastic!).  You don't have to have the finest china and silver to set a nice table, so anyone can do it using what they have from home.  You can go as fancy or as simple as you like!


The only rule is, there are no rules.  Presentation is key!  You don't have to put the silverware in the "right place".  Glasses don't have to be in the right position unless you want them to be.  You just use your creativity and imagination to set a nice table.   Anything goes!!  Most tablescapes are done by theme, like the rooster theme in the table above, and the strawberry theme below.

Set your table according to the theme of your dishes.  For example, the tablescape I put together below used palm tree dishes I found at a local thrift shop and things from around the house.  I put together a tropical themed table and I had fun doing it.  Not to mention, I was ready to have company for dinner. 

White dishes go with any theme as do black dishes.   Or, mix them together to get a black and white color scheme.  Your centerpiece and color choices is what makes the biggest impact.   Use organic materials in your centerpiece such as leaves, rocks and other outdoor materials or use faux greenery and florals, use real.  Mix and match anything and everything.  Again, anything goes!!  The only thing you really need to do is define each place setting at your table, meaning that where there is a chair, there should be a plate, glass, silverware and napkin at that spot.  Most regularly sized tables have 4 to 6 place settings.

For those who just want to know or need to know proper placement of dishes in a setting, see the chart below.

However, tablescapers seldom use proper placement of all these items.  The main thing is that each place setting is defined.   Napkins can be folded or put into rings.  They can be placed under the silverware, to the side of the silverware, rolled up and tied with twine, folded accorion style and in half and placed inside the stemware (see photo below) or sandwiched between the dinner plate and the salad plate.

Silverware can be placed at the top of the plates, placed in a pocket that has been folded into the napkin, tied with raffia and placed on top of the plates.  You can even put them inside the drinking glass.  Glasses should almost always go to the top right hand side of the plate, but if you are brave, you can set them smack dab in the middle of your plate.  With tablescaping you get to choose.

100th Week of Tablescape ThursdayMy Birthday Luncheon

The most important thing about entertaining and tablescaping is that you have fun and your guests have fun.  Your home should be comfortable and inviting (you don't have to have the finest of everything to do that).  It's all in your attitude and how you present what you do have.  Your guests should feel relaxed in your home but at the same time feel as if they are your "special guests" and that you have taken the extra time and care in planning for their visit. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Into HIS Marvelous Light

"Into His Marvelous Light"
(Bible Study)

When walking out of a dark room into the sunshine, light can be blinding. As our eyes become accustomed to the light, we can see more clearly and enjoy the scenery that surrounds us.
Likewise, when we look into the light of the scriptures, the brightness of truth can sometimes hurt. However, as our spiritual eyesight becomes adjusted we can enjoy "walking in the light".
This Bible study is designed to allow us to "walk" into the marvelous light of the Word of God. We will be journeying into the scriptures by imagining we are back in the days of Jesus and the Apostles, listening to them teach and preach the plan of salvation. In order to do this, we will be careful to "rightly" divide the word of the truth (2 Timothy 2:15) by concentrating on the highlights of the three main divisions of the New Testament in chronological order, including: 
1. THE GOSPELS - covering the words and works of Jesus Christ 
2. THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES -covering the actions and preaching of the Apostles 
3. THE EPISTLES - covering the letters written by the Apostles to the churches they started in the Book of Acts. 

Note:  When starting this study, turn to each scripture passage in your bible and read the passage aloud to yourself.  All scripture references are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible unless otherwise noted.  If you have a printer, you may wish to print this Bible Study to be better able to fill in the answers and have a copy to review. 

We believe the scriptures are divinely inspired and, "of no private interpretation" (2 Peter 1:20-21). Therefore, every effort has been made to present the pure Word of God without adding to, or taking away from its teachings (Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 30:5-6).
It is not our intention to diminish any personal relationship you may have with our Lord. Neither do we desire to convince you of our own personal ideas or the creeds of any denomination. We simply desire to share the truth as it is written. Only by claiming the Bible as our sole authority can any of us be confident of our salvation, for it is the Word of God and not the traditions of men that will judge us all in the end.
Let us read 2 Timothy 3:15-16 as we begin our journey into the Word of God... And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:   

Fill in the blanks:
  • John 1:1-5 & 14 -- The                       , which was in the beginning, and was God, became flesh.  Jesus Christ is the Living Word of God.
  • John 1:11-13 -- If we believe in Him and receive Him, Jesus gives us power to become the sons of                          by a supernatural birth. He spoke further about this new birth one night to a ruler of the Jews... 
  • John 3:1-8  -- The Lord told Nicodemus that everyone who wanted to see or enter into the Kingdom of God, must be born again of                       and the                      .
  • John 3:16-21 -- Jesus also told Nicodemus that whosoever                          in Him should have eternal life. Jesus mentioned two seemingly different requirements for salvation. One is being born again. The other is believing. yet, this is not a contradiction. The next scripture explains how believing is related to experiencing the birth of the Spirit...
  • John 7:38-39 -- Here, we discover that if we believe on Him (according to the Word), we will receive His                       . We find that scriptural belief is more than just a change in the way we think. It also results in a scriptural experience. Faith motivates us to obey and obedience brings God's acceptance and blessing.
  • John 12:35-36 & 42-43 -- Today, just as in Jesus' day, many believe on Him. But, they will not                      Him for fear of what others will do or say.
  • John 12:44 -- In response to their fearfulness, Jesus warns that His                   will judge us, so we must be careful not to reject it. Rather, we should believe and obey it... no matter what others say or do!
  • John 17:17-20 -- In Jesus' prayer for his desciples, just before His crucifixion, He said God's Word is                      . He also prayed for us; and for all those who would believe on Him through the Apostles' word.

To find out what the Apostles' word was to be, let us read what Jesus told them to proclaim. The setting of the following great commission scripture in Luke 24:45-49 is just after the Lord's death, burial and resurrection... and just before His ascension into heaven. 

"Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." 

HOW WAS THE PROMISE OF THE FATHER FULFILLED?                                             

Let us continue our journey into the Word of God by seeing what was preached and what happened at Jerusalem... 

Acts 1:3-5 -- As we enter the Book of Acts, we discover almost immediately that the promise of the Father is the baptism of the                                       .

Acts 2:1-17 -- When the Apostles were at Jerusalem, they, along with many others, were joyously filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other                      as the Spirit gave them utterance, (the inspiration to speak).  The amazed onlookers from many nations who heard them speaking with tongues asked, "What meaneth this?"  Then Peter explained the promised coming of the Spirit and went on to preach Christ and the original apostolic plan of salvation.

Acts 2:36-39 -- When the popele who heard Peter's words believed that Jesus Christ was their Lord and Savior, they were sorry for their sins and asked Peter and the Apostles what they should do.  Peter replied by preaching the message Jesus commanded to be preached in Luke 24:45-49.  In light of this, consider the three elements of the plan of salvation preched in verse 38:
  1. Repentance
  2. Remission of sins through baptism in Jesus' name
  3. Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost
NOTICE: Acts 2:38 is the fulfillment of the birth requirements Jesus mentioned in John 3:5 that were necessary to enter the Kingdom of God. 
  • water birth = baptism in the name of Jesus Christ! 
  • Spirit birth = infilling of the Holy Ghost! 
  Now, let's look at some more examples of people being born again of water and the Spirit as the Word Jesus gave His apostles continued to be preached throughout the Book of Acts... 

Phillip preaching to the Samaritans in Acts 8
NOTICE: Some people say when they experienced joy; or when they believed in Jesus, or when they were baptized, they were automatically filled with the Holy Ghost. But what does the Word say? 

Acts 8:5-8 
  • Did they have great joy?   Yes      No      
Acts 8:12 
  • Were they baptized in His name?  Yes      No     
  • Did they believe in Jesus Christ?  Yes      No     
Acts 8:14-17 
  • Did they receive the Holy Ghost as a separate and distinct experience?  Yes      No     

Peter preaching to the Gentiles in Acts 10 
NOTICE: Some people say being religious is enough, or that the Spirit-baptism evidenced by tongues was only for the day of Pentecost. If the Bible says this is true, then it is true. But the Word shows us through Cornelius' experience that this is not true... then it is not.... 

Acts 10:1-2 
  • Was Cornelius a religious man?  Yes      No     
Acts 10:5-6 
  • Did God have more for him to do?  Yes      No     
Acts 10:44-46 
  • Did they receive the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues after the day of Pentecost?  Yes      No     
Acts 10:47-48 
  • Did they still have to be baptized in Jesus' name?  Yes      No     

Paul preaching to John's disciples in Acts 19
NOTICE: Many people who are believers have not even heard about the Holy Ghost that is promised to them. Also, some people say it is not necessary to be baptized or re-baptize (if you were baptized by John the Baptist, would you think it would be necessary to be re-baptized using a different baptismal formula?) Others say it does not matter what is spoken when you are baptized. If the Bible indicates it does not matter, then it does not matter...but, what if the Bible shows us it DOES matter?  Acts 19:1-2 
  • They were believers, but had they heard of or received the Holy Ghost?  Yes      No     
Acts 19:3-5 
  • Did those baptized by John the Baptist have to be rebaptized in Jesus' name?  Yes      No     
Acts 19:6 
  • Was receiving the Holy Ghost accompanied by the initial evidence of speaking in other tongues?  Yes      No      
NOTICE:  We have found that the Apostles preached the following message:
the life of Christ and His death, burial and resurrection:

  • The life of Christ and His death, burial and resurrection
  • Repentance toward God and belief in Jesus Christ as Savior
  • Baptism in water by immersion in Jesus' Name
  • Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost (which is accompanied by the initial evidence of speaking with other tongues.)

Now, let us read what the Apostles had to say about the message of salvation they proclaimed in the Book of Acts. We can do this by reading the epistles (letters) they wrote to their converts. 
Supplemental Study Scriptures  As we read the Epistles, we will notice how strongly the Apostles felt about the gospel (good news) of salvation. This is not because they were being judgmental, it is because they knew the Word Jesus had given them to proclaim was going to judge all men.
What did Peter say? 
"Ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth.. being born again.. by the word of God.. and this is the word which by gospel is preached unto you." (I Peter 1:22-25)
Peter asked a question: 
"...What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" (I Peter 4:17-18)
(1) Matthew 7:13-24 
NOTE: God's warning regarding false prophets and the importance of being a doer and not just a hearer of the Word.
(2) Matthew 16:15-19 
NOTE: Peter was given the "keys of the kingdom" because of his revelation of who Jesus Christ was.
Paul Gave the answer: 
"The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In
flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and the obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)
What did Paul say? 
"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another, but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other..."
(3) Other "Great Commission" scriptures": 
NOTE: In Matthew 28:18-20 the word "name" is singular in this command to baptize. The Apostles obeyed this command when they bapitzed only in the name of Jesus, and did not use the titles mentioned here. (see Acts 4:12)
Mark 16:15-18. The importance of water baptism and the signs following believers.
(4) Matthew 16:15-19 
NOTE: Peter, who was given the "keys of the kingdom", uses them to open the "kingdom door" by preaching the original apostolic message of salvation for the first time.
(5) Acts 8:35-39 
NOTE: Philip must have mentioned baptism when he preached Jesus to the Eunuch, because the Eunuch asked to be baptized in water. The Greek root word for baptize is "bapto", which literally means to cover wholly with fluid, to dip. (see also Romans 6:3-4). 
(6) Acts 10:34-43 
NOTE: Peter preached the life and lordship of Jesus Christ as well as His death, burial and resurrection.
(7) I Peter 3:20-21 
NOTE: According to Peter baptism is an essential part of the plan of salvation.

What Did James Say?

"Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your soulds.  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers onyl, deceiving your own selves.  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was" (James 1:21-24)

James tells us that if we see something we need to do as we look into the "mirror of the word," we should do it.  Let us now consider what we will do with what we have heard...


DO YOU BELIEVE the Word of God is true and will judge us?
DO YOU BELIEVE Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior?
DO YOU BELIEVE it is necessary to repent by determining to turn from sin and giving your life to God?
DO YOU BELIEVE water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is the biblical way to be baptized?
DO YOU BELIEVE the baptism of the Holy Ghost is for you today, and when you receive it you will speak in other tongues, just as they did in the bible?

If you believe these things,
pray right now, asking God to allow you
to experience all that He has for you!

Have Questions or
Need a Home Bible Study?
Contact us Today

1300 E. Grand
Cuba, MO 65453
(573) 885-2491

Answer Key:

Water, Spirit

2 essay questions--yes they did preach what they were commanded to preach.
                            yes the promise of the Father was fulfilled.
Holy Ghost


Fall is one of my favorite times of year.  The colors and weather are just glorious.  What better time of year to get the ladies together for some outdoor fun.   Choose a date, place and time to get together for an outdoor fall party.   If you have a fairly large yard, this would be the perfect opportunity to invite the ladies to your house for some fall festivities.

Using fall themed scrapbook papers and plain papers, make simple invitations. 

Of course decorations would include colorful leaves, pumpkins, cornstalks, hay bales, mums, etc.  Weather permitting set up tables outside for dining.  Any kind of tables will do.  If your budget allows use hay bales for seating.

Ask each lady to bring their favorite cool weather dish or dessert.  Chili and soups are always favorite fall dishes.  Also, grilled corn on the cob and other fall vegetables are yummy.

Make sure you have plenty of apple cider and hot cocoa on hand.

A bonfire, s'mores and kettle corn are always great fall treats too.  You can now make microwave kettle corn which is easy and tasty. 

Games can include:

Sack races and Bobbing for apples are always fun fall activities.  If you don't like bobbing for apples the old fashioned water in a bucket way, hang the apples from strings and hang them from the clothesline.  The ladies can bob for apples without the mess of water.

Play a name the leaves game.  Have a tray with assorted tree leaves.  Number the leaves.  Give each lady a numbered sheet of paper and ask them to identify each leaf by what type of tree it came from (if you don't have a variety of trees to choose from, cutout different leaves from construction paper.  Go online to find leaf patterns to trace).  Give a door prize to the lady who guesses the most right.

Pumpkin or gourd toss.  Cut holes into a large sheet of cardboard or plywood.  Large enough for a small gourd or pumpkin to go through.  Lean the board against a table or wall.  Allow the ladies three tries to get the pumpkin in the holes.  If she succeeds, give her a small trinket.

Ring toss.   Place a large pumpkin (with a stem) on the ground or a table.  Give each lady milk jug rings.  The lady needs to ring the stem of pumpkin to win.  If she succeeds, give her a small trinket.

*Door prizes and trinkets can be anything you choose but you might choose things with a "fall" "autumn" theme.

Easter, What's it all About

Easter, what’s it all about?
Commercialism, I’m so tired of commercialism! Every holiday, every event is cheapened by commercialism. At Christmas we are given Santa Claus, flying reindeer and elves as heroes. Who ever made up such foolishness. At Thanksgiving we celebrate the Turkey instead of the one who gave us turkey. Now Easter, what’s up with bunny rabbits and colored eggs. It sounds to me that once again it’s foolishness and we are celebrating the creation more than the creator (Rom. 1:25).

Have you been to the local Wal-Mart recently? Have you spied all the cute little bunnies, pretty spring flowers, huge assortment of candy and plastic eggs. What exactly is this stuff for? Is it to celebrate spring or is it the devil’s way to mask the truth in order to keep people from remembering what Easter is really about? I say it’s the latter! The devil will do anything to make sure that everyone forgets that the real reason we celebrate holidays like such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter because he don’t want us to remember or think about the wonderful things that God has done for us.

We as Christians oftentimes allow commercialism to consume us as well. I at times have been caught up in all that stuff because it’s cute and fun. I love my family and I want them to enjoy life. I want them to be happy. However, the world and my family needs a savior not an Easter bunny.

So what is Easter and why do we celebrate it? We as Christians all know that Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, but what really does that mean? Let’s read all about it.

We are going to start at the beginning because before there can ever be a resurrection there must first be a death and burial. Isaiah 53:5

The Death

Matt. 26:1-5; Christ speaks of his crucifixion; 14-25—the betrayal of Judas;
Then Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane that he would not have to go through this.
Matt. 26:47-50—arresting of Jesus
Matt. 26:59-68—before the counsel
Matt. 27:1-2;11-50

The Burial

Matt. 27:57-61
John 19:38-42

The Resurrection

Matt. 28:1-7

Why did all of this happen and why do we need to remember or celebrate it?

Matt. 28:18-20

Christ’s death and ohh so important resurrection was so that his gospel might be preached to every nation. His gospel of salvation. Because really Christ came, suffered, died and rose again that we all have the chance to be saved.

John 3:17—For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. Now that’s worth celebrating!

Isaiah 53:5—he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).

Gal. 1:4—Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.

Titus 2:14—Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

We don’t deserve all this but it’s because of God’s love that we have this wonderful opportunity:

Let’s remind someone today, someone who may not have heard, or maybe because of all the commercialism, has forgotten, that Jesus died and rose again just for them. He took back the keys to death, hell and the grave which is the wages of sin and gave each and every person the chance to be free from it’s grip. Thank you Jesus!


Chose You This Day


You know the greatest part about being a human being is that God gave us the power of choice. The freedom of making decisions that effect us individually. We (all of us) make choices every single day. We choose what to wear that day. How we want to fix our hair. What to eat. Who to talk to and make friends with and who not. Sometimes we make good choices and sometimes not so good choices, but whatever the outcome, good or bad, it was our choice.

Many of the choices we make, like what kind of toothpaste to use, is not important but there are many choices we face that are important and we must choose wisely, lest the "bad" happen because of a poor choice. There is one choice we make every single day; however, and most of us make the choice without even thinking about it, and yet it is the single most important choice you will ever make, so tonight we are going to highlight this choice and try to help you make the right choice.

Lets turn to Joshua chapters 23 & 24

First I have a question, are any of you familiar with Joshua’s famous last words? I bet you are...they are posted on plaques and pictures everywhere....

Finish this scripture for me...but as for me and my house,                                 . See I knew you knew Joshua’s famous last words. However, there is more to what Joshua said in that scripture than that...and it’s the more that we are going to focus on tonight.

Joshua 23:1-3 & 24:1-15

Here we see Joshua (remember I taught a few weeks ago about Joshua and Caleb, this is that Joshua) He become the leader of the Israelites when Moses died. He led the Israelites under God’s direction into the promised land. They had to fight a lot of battles in order to "get" this land they were promised, not only the battle of Jericho but many more, and only with God’s help were they able to win these battles. Either way we see in the last few chapters of Joshua that, Joshua is old and getting ready to die so he calls all the people of Israel to a meeting and reminded them of all the great things that God had done before their very eyes. All the times that God helped them when they were in trouble, and then he said, but you have forsaken your God. Every since you have come into this land you have corrupted yourselves to serve the gods of the other nations, and; finally he told them, today you have a choice to make.

He need to fear "the Lord", and serve him in sincerity and in truth...quit being wishy washy,
Put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord...

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY WHOM YE WILL SERVE; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: BUT AS FOR ME, AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.

Of course, just as Joshua thought they would. The Israelites said: God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods, for the Lord he is our God. (Joshua 24:16)

Let’s just dissect the word serve...

What does the word serve mean...they said they would serve the Lord...what does serve mean...

(Note to teacher:  Do a little object lesson on service...act as if you are someone’s servant...ask them what they would like for me to bring them and then give them something else.)

How about when you go to a restaurant and order steak...does the server bring you chicken...probably not if he/she wants a tip (or reward) later for good service.

You see in order to serve you must follow the words of or instructions of the one you are serving, and this is what Joshua was saying. You want to say you will serve the Lord but you refuse to follow his instructions. You are not living as if you are a servant of the Lord. You are not keeping his commandments but you are follow other gods and living like those who are not God’s people.

The bible cannot serve two masters, you will love the one and hate the other or cling to the one and despise the other....Matt 6:24

There is a choice we make every single day without even realizing it...and yes it is a daily choice...when you get up in the morning and choose your actions for the are choosing whether to live like the world and enjoy the sinful pleasures of the world...or you are hopefully choosing to be a Christian and live according to God’s word, but you can’t do both. You are either a Christian and following God’s word or you are not. There is no in between!!!

You see, there are consequences with every decision we make...good or bad...yes, it is your choice to forsake God and to run after the things (gods) of this world and to live any ol’ way you want, that your freedom of choice. Yes, it’s your choice to forsake the one who created you and gave you life, the one who loved you enough to shed blood for your sins...the one who makes sure you are well cared for in this life...but there are consequences...

Joshua told the people...God is a jealous God, he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If ye forsake the Lord, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.

My friend...hell is the consequence of folks who make the wrong choice on who to serve.

You have the opportunity at this very moment to make up your mind...the scripture says...

Behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Corin. 6:2)

You know, you guys are reaching the age that you can’t depend on mom and dad or someone else to make the right choices for you. Some of you perhaps right now, have moms and dads right now who don’t make the right decision regarding this issue so you have to make the choice for you.

As Joshua said ...AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD...what are you going to do?

Memory Verse:  Joshua 24:15--And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

(This is quite a lengthy verse.  If you wish and your children are somewhat young, pick a portion of the verse as a memory verse).

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Supplies Needed:
  • 1 black posterboard
  • 1 red posterboard
  • Several Sheets white paper
Did you know that when you are born into God's family that you become a prince/princess.  Yes, that's right we become royalty, and because we are royalty we have a reputation to uphold. We are a member of the family of God and everything we do reflects back to God’s kingdom. Everyone knows who we belong to and so if our actions are bad it doesn’t look very good on God or the rest of the family.

We are going to spend the next few weeks talking about what it means to "be" a princess, and learning how to "be" a princess. Of course we all know this process takes more than just a few weeks but we can learn a few of the basics and start putting them into practice.

There are 3 "A’s" of prince/princesshood. Actions, Attitude and Appearance.

In everything we do (which is the action), we have an attitude to go along with it and there is also an image (appearance) that we portray to those who see the action. So these 3 A’s all go together. They are all wrapped up in one.

(Note to teacher:  This particular lesson is about actions and words.  Over the next few weeks you might do a lesson on Attitude and one on Appearance).

Have you ever heard the saying "actions speak louder than words"? Well this is very true but the attitude we have when doing anything speaks volumes above the action itself and it gives the appearance to all who see us of just who and what we are.  Our words speak volumes about us, and they must be kept in check at all times.

Speaking or talking is an action. You know from school that talk and speak are verbs (action words) so talking/speaking is an action and the words we choose to let come out of our mouths speak volumes of who and what we are. Even those who aren’t Christians know the power of words. Our lives revolve around words, spoken or written so...

The very first thing we need to learn about is our words (our tongue) because it is what usually causes the most trouble.

James 3:2-12—

James says that no man can tame the tongue and that it’s full of deadly poison. But God is able to tame the tongue and those of us who have the Holy Ghost should not use our tongue to bless God and then curse men.

Ever heard of the saying "think before you speak"? Well there is a verse in the bible that supports this saying also.

James 1:19—Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath:
Know what that verse means? When it says be swift to hear, it mean be quick to listen. Listening requires thinking in order to understand what you were hearing. However, most of us, I’m guilty too, tend to spout off at the mouth before we listen to what is being said. Not only do we need to listen to what other people are saying to us first before we respond, we also need to listen to God before we speak. We must also listen to the words forming in our own minds to see whether they are good or bad before we burst out with whatever is on the tip of our tongues. We need to be conscious of and pay attention to what words are forming in our heads before they come out of our mouths especially in angry situations. If we stop to think first before we speak, even though someone may have said something that hurt us, we can prevent ourselves from saying something that we would later regret. We need to make sure than we only allow good words and thoughts to come out. Maybe the person you spouted off at is a sinner and you really offended them. They might have wanted to be like us but in that one moment you destroyed that from happening. Words hurt and people have a hard time forgiving.

Of course I know you guys are really good kids and you usually don’t blow up and spout off at the mouth, but lets talk about something we all do, especially kids. This seems harmless but it really is very damaging even if we mean it jokingly. It’s name calling.

We have had some concerns lately with AJ calling people silly names. AJ and Andy tease all the time calling each other cute little names, like cheeto head or cheeseburger face, but then recently he called someone a "butthead", and AJ thinks it’s cute because it’s a game that he and dad plays, dad has taught him to be a name caller which is not good. Now we are having to each AJ that name calling is a no, no. Andy thought to make up for the bad word he said that we should teach him to say "glutteous maximus head" instead of "butthead", but that is not good either. Name calling is just not a good thing even though at times it seems cute or harmless.

Sometimes name calling is out of playfulness but truthfully when do we usually call someone a name? Most of the times we call someone a name is when you are mad at them. Maybe a sibling, friend or parent has done something to hurt you or make you angry and you spout off and call them an "ugly head". Did you know you are really cussing at them. Yes, that’s right, cussing. You may not be using foul language but you are cursing at them, just without using curse words.

What about when you see someone walking down the street or in the hallway at school that is a little different from you. Perhaps you call them a "nerd" or a "loser". Even though you really don’t think anything about it and it seems as if you aren’t doing anything wrong, it is wrong. You are judging that person based on appearance of an action of some kind when you really don’t know them.

The bible says in Matt. 5:22 that anyone who in anger or wrong judgment, calls his brother (or anyone) "thou fool" is in danger of hell fire. That’s serious punishment for calling someone "a loser" isn’t it? The fact is, is that name calling is just not cute and God does not like it. It is very damaging and very hurtful and, it is not God like at all. Now it’s okay to have sweet, loving nicknames for friends and family members, but It’s really just best to call a person by their name or title. My mom, she’s a wise woman. She used to say "if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all". I think that’s well said don’t you.

Our tongues get us in all kinds of trouble. We should watch to make sure we aren’t caught up in gossiping, lying or speaking profanities.

It’s imperative that as a child of God we do our best to keep our tongues in control. This is the first and foremost rule of princesshood. We could do a million and one terrific things for God but just one word can destroy all our efforts if it causes a soul to be lost. So we must be careful. That’s not to say we won’t slip up from time to time but like David asked in Psalm 141:3, let us ask God right now to—

Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

I challenge all of us to be swift to listen, slow to speak and slow to wrath. Let’s stop and think before we speak this week. We’ve asked to lord to help us with this so let’s challenge ourselves this week and in weeks to come to make sure only good things come out of our mouths. The next time someone makes you mad, or the next time you have the urge to name call. Stop and think about it first and make the right choice of words.

Memory verse scramble— Cut a large pair of lips (mouth) out of red posterboard.  Paste your mouth to black posterboard.  Cut "teeth" from plain white paper.  On each tooth write a word or two from the memory verse above (Psalm 141:3).  Hang the poster on the wall.

Note:  Before class time, test to make sure all the "teeth" will fit inside the mouth.  You may need to make adjustments. 

For the memory verse scramble, lay out all the teeth in no particular order (scrambled) and have the children put them inside the mouth in the right order.  Have them repeat the verse several times to memorize it. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Burrrr, It's Cold Outside

Burrrrr, it’s cold outside: so don’t let your Holy Ghost Fire Go Out!
Burrrrr, it’s cold outside. This world is a cold, dark place, but God has brought us out of the world into a dry, warm, place and has given us the internal warmth of the Holy Ghost as a comforter.

Remember how we talked last week about how the Devil is trying to keep us too occupied (busy) to gain a deep personal relationship with God? He has put things in our way, and in our lives, to keep us from staying close to the Lord. Which means it really is going to take some time and a lot of effort to gain the good, solid relationship that we need with Jesus. The devil is not just going to let us get there. He is going to fight us every step of the way. He just keeps throwing snowballs at us everyday in an attempt to get our relationship with God to grow cold.

Our memory verse last week said "Submit yourselves therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). That is an "action" verse meaning in order for us to accomplish this, it’s going to take some action on our part. Being in school you are familiar with action words known as verbs. What are the verbs in this scripture? Submit and Resist, right. The acts of submitting and resisting take a lot of effort. It’s work, hard work!

That’s kind of what we are going to talk about today. Working at getting and keeping a good, solid relationship with God. We are going to talk about ways to keep our relationship with God new, fresh and lasting. Not letting our Holy Ghost fire go out, so to speak. Stoking the fire of the Holy Ghost to keep the embers burning in our lives which is going to keep us close or get us closer to God.

Submitting ourselves to God means committing ourselves to doing the things God wants us to do daily in order stay or get near to him. Resistance to the devil is only possible when we are submitted to God. We must stay full of the Holy Ghost. We must fill up on the things of God, on communication with God through prayer and bible study; through the hearing of the word, through fasting and Godly fellowship with Godly people.

Scripture text: Matt. 25:1-13 (10 virgins)

At first it seems that this passage of scripture is unrelated to reaching and maintaining a close relationship with our savior, but it really fits. You see there were 10 virgins altogether. All had lamps burning while waiting for the bridegroom (Christ) to call to them. However, 5 took extra oil (fuel) with them just in case his return was prolonged seeing as how they didn’t know when he would come, but the other 5 did not take any extra. They only had what was already in their lamp. They made no provision for the future. They ran out of oil just as their groom called and missed their own wedding. How awful!

Let’s compare their oil to the Holy Ghost. When we get the Holy Ghost we are all on fire for God because as the Bible says we were baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire. However, over time if we don’t tend to the fire it tends to go out or get weak, just like the foolish virgins’ lamps did. Why do you think that is? Well, one reason is that we allow the things of this world to dampen and water down our spirit and our enthusiasm for God. Occupying ourselves too much in worldly affairs can put our fire out just like water puts out a natural fire, but the #1 reason our fire dies down or goes out is because a fire needs fuel to stay burning.

Note to Teacher: (Light a fire in a pan with a match and watch it go out, then light another fire but keep adding paper to keep it going)

Just like a log is fuel for a campfire, oil was the fuel to keep the fire going in the virgins’ lamps. We also need fuel to keep our Holy Ghost fire going. What do you suppose might be fuel to keep the Holy Ghost fire burning in our lives?

Let’s see—Jere. 20:9 says—...but his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones...

Jude 1:3, 21—talks about earnestly contending for the faith and building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost (meaning speaking in tongues).

So we need to read and apply God’s Word to our lives and we need to pray. That’s the fuel that keeps our Holy Ghost fire from going out and keeps our relationship with God healthy. Well that makes since. First off the Word is ammunition against the devil. Also, in any relationship, for the relationship to be strong and healthy, there needs to be communication. Prayer is us communicating (talking) to God and reading his Word is him communicating (talking) to us. 

In relationships there needs to be time spent together. The more time you spend together the more you know about each other and a stronger bond begins to form between you. The less time you spend together the less you know about that person and the bond between you becomes weak.

For example, my best friend LaDonna and I were BFF’s. We did everything together. We knew everything there was to know about each other. We were as close as two people could be. We even had the same likes and dislikes. We were like twins. Then one day, I graduated high school and went off to college and back then there was no such thing as email, IM or cell phones, so we didn’t get to communicate much. By the time I came home from college, she was at college. We had no communication. Then I got married and moved away to Missouri. Then she got married and moved away too. I know she lives in Ohio now with her husband and two kids, but because we went so long without communication and spending time together hanging out, our relationship is just not very close. I still love her and she still loves me, but we just aren’t that much alike anymore. We are two completely different people now. Not very much alike at all in fact.

That’s what happens in our relationship with God too. The more time we spend together the closer and more like him we become, but the more time we spend apart the farther apart and less like him we become. When we spend more time with worldly people and doing worldly things we become more like the world and less like God forfeiting our relationship with him. He is always there for us, but we have to make the effort to spend time with him. Relationships of any sort take work and time. Relationships need "fuel" to stay alive. That fuel is communication. LaDonna and I could probably have stayed BFF’s but we both let ourselves become too busy to stay in touch with one another. Our relationship with God works the same way. We can have a relationship with him if we put in the effort and not let ourselves become too busy with other things. He is always there just waiting for us to spend time with him, but He is not pushy. He’s not going to make us spend time with him. He wants us to want him. He wants us to love him like he loves us.

Memory verse: James 4:8—draw nigh unto God, and he will draw nigh unto you.

Isn’t it funny that our memory verse this week is the next verse after the one from last week. Maybe God is trying to tell us something here. That to submit ourselves to God and to resist the devil, we need to draw nigh unto him and he then will draw nigh unto us. Funny!

I have a challenge for us. I want us to read the bible and pray some everyday for one month (hopefully longer). Of course, I’m sure you guys already do that and I try too also, but let’s seriously try to build a deeper relationship with God this year. If you already have a prayer and reading schedule than just do a little extra. Read an extra chapter. Pray a few more minutes or add an extra prayer time in your day. If not, then let’s start now.


Print off the following beginners 30 day bible reading plan and prayer wheel.  Give a copy to each child to help them to build their prayer and bible reading skills.


This blog is dedicated to all things inspirational, with it's basis solely from the infallible, inerrant word of God. Unless otherwise posted all scripture references will be taken from the Kings James version of the Holy Bible. Some biblical material and docrinal views on this blog may be controversial in content. I ask when viewing this type of material that you open your heart solely to the word of God and allow his truth, as written in his word, to teach and guide you.
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